The party of the rich

Democrats are now the party of the rich, and Republicans are the party of the blue collar worker.  So concludes Reihan Salam, writing in the liberal Slate, drawing on research by think tanker Lee Drutman, who shows that the wealthiest Americans now tend to vote for Democrats.

Why?  Because the wealthy tend to be “socially liberal”; that is, they support abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc., etc.   Contrary to how they usually describe themselves, they are not necessarily “fiscally conservative.”  They are so affluent they don’t mind paying slightly higher taxes, and they want the government to provide health care and other benefits for the lower class that serves them.  But they are far from Bernie Sanders-style socialists, being supportive of big banks and Wall Street.

Conversely, as we see in the ascension of Donald Trump, lower income workers–concerned about free trade, exporting jobs, and low wages, as well as what they see as America’s cultural decline–are voting Republican.  This is all an exact reversal of just a few years ago. [Read more…]

What’s been missing at the Democratic convention

What’s been missing at the Democratic National Convention?

(1)  American flags.  The first night, there were Palestinian flags on the convention floor.  Outside, Bernie Sander’s socialist followers flew the red banner with the hammer and sickle of the Soviet flag.  But no Old Glory.  Not until an article in the Daily Caller pointed out the absence of the American flag, in stark contrast with the Republican convention where the stars and stripes were everywhere.  Whereupon the Democrats brought in some.

(2)  References to terrorism.  Fact-checkers confirmed that none of the 61 speakers on the first day of the convention mentioned the words terror, terrorism, terrorist, Islamic, or ISIS.  There was scant mention Tuesday, but Wednesday’s emphasis on foreign policy did include talk about terrorism.

What else has been missing?

[Read more…]

Sanders supporters boo calls for party unity

The first day of the Democratic National Convention was marked by boos, shout downs, and loud protests on the part of Bernie Sanders supporters whenever a speaker called for the party to unite behind Hillary Clinton.  They even booed Sanders when he said that! [Read more…]

What to watch for at the Democrats’ convention this week

Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to have a convention, beginning today and lasting through Thursday.  Here are some things to watch for:

(1)  Both the Republicans and the Democratic contests featured an insurgent arrayed against the party establishment.  In the Republican case, the insurgent won.  In the Democratic case, the party establishment beat down the insurgent.  But his followers are not happy.  Though socialist Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton, lots of Democrats on the left are bitter about her victory.  They don’t like her moderate vice presidential pick Tim Kaine.  And they sure don’t like the revelations in those hacked e-mails about how the Democratic National Committee undermined Sanders to anoint Clinton.  (See post below.)  At the convention, will the left rally to Clinton’s banner after all?  Or what will they do? [Read more…]

Clinton picks Tim Kaine for vice president

Hillary Clinton picked former Virginia governor Tim Kaine as her running-mate.  She could have picked someone from the left wing of the Democratic party, so as to placate Bernie Sanders supporters, but instead she chose a widely-experienced government official with the reputation as a moderate.  Perhaps her strategy is to reach out to those, including Republicans, who are alarmed by Donald Trump.

What do you think of her choice?  Does this apparent move to the center calm any apprehensions you may have about her?  Does this seemingly responsible pick make her seem more like the adult in the room, compared to the volatile and inexperienced Trump?  Or is this a choice that could backfire?  Might it cause many progressive Democrats, already frustrated with the way she shot down Sanders,  to turn to Trump, given his populism and his “revolutionary” shakeup of the establishment? [Read more…]

Hillary Clinton clinches the Democratic nomination

Hillary Clinton won the New Jersey primary, giving her enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

UPDATE:  Clinton won the big prize of California.  Go here to see how she fared in yesterday’s five primaries.  Bernie Sanders vows to fight on.

[Read more…]